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How to continue acne treatment in the summer

Acne-prone skin that has been exposed to sunlight can become hypersensitive when medications that include tetracyclines or isotretinoin are used. So, how to cure acne completely even in summer?

In the summer, people with acne-prone skin should consider it carefully before sunbathing. Many acne treatments are photosensitizing – treatments can trigger breakouts in areas that have been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially the shoulders, hands, forearms, and face. It is even worse when we are in a bathing suit. The rashes will appear more and spread to other parts of the body.

What if we do not use photosensitizers for the skin when exposed to sunlight? The only solution to deal with these rashes is to protect the skin from sunlight regardless of medications.

We cannot prevent young people or women from catching the sun’s rays. However, it is advisable to follow some prescribed acne treatments. Applying a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is highly recommended.


  • Apply sunscreen after every 2 hour period and about 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. The ratio of the UVA protection factor must be equal to or less than 2, and the protection must be 50. Prefer an oil-free and a water-based fragrance to avoid photosensitivity and irritation, a greasy or comedogenic one is not recommended. It is preferable to use sunscreens with mineral filters (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) capable of reflecting ultraviolet rays and sunlight rather than absorbing them.
  • Two of the most effective sunscreens are the hat and the t-shirt. People with severe acne are at a higher risk of depigmentation. Therefore, sunscreen is especially important.
  • Avoiding sun exposure and UV booth between 12-16 hours.
  • Moisturize the skin several times a day, with an adequate amount of oily moisturizer and it should be non-comedogenic.
  • If possible, continue your acne treatment regularly because we will benefit from guidance and follow-up.

Summer acne treatment is possible.

We can continue with acne treatment even in summer with various precautions.

Fruit Acid Treatments (AHA)

Dermatologists sometimes prescribe fruit acids that include glycolic acid from sugar cane. They are not harmful.

Benzoyl peroxide treatments

Benzoyl peroxide in soap (Panoxyl), cream and gel (Cutacnyl, Effacné, Erylik, Eclaran, Pannogel, Panoxyl) is a photosensitizer. Therefore, you should apply them at night, then use the sunscreen during the day.

Warning: sunscreen is less active in water, so people who do some water sports should not follow this formula.

Topical antibiotic products

Topical antibiotic products, especially erythromycin (Erythrogel, Eryfluid, Stimycin) lotion or gel, or Dalacin T (clindamycin) topical solution and lotion, contain alcohol, irritants, and / or propylene glycol. Apply them at night, and remember to associate them with the moisturizer.

Warning: use in a short period to avoid antimicrobial resistance.

Oral medications for acne treatments less compatible with sunlight

Oral treatments are less compatible with sun exposure.

Zinc-based treatments

Using zinc gluconate or Rubozinc is less risky in summer. However, its effectiveness is limited to small acne, with local treatment.

Isotretinoin treatments

Isotretinoin (Roaccutane, Acnetrait, Curacné, Contracné and Procuta) are prescribed for fragile skin and severe acne. Medication continues in eight months. It causes a thinning of the skin that is no longer a UV-VIS barrier. This makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight, causing a rapid sunburn other than phototoxicity or photoallergy.

The use of broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen is effective in avoiding UVA and UVB rays.

Oral antibiotics

We must stop using some oral antibiotics or tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline due to the significant risk of phototoxicity. So the doctor prefers the preferred zinc salts.

Only a treatment with lymecycline (Tetralysal) with the least phototoxic risk can be processed if the acne is moderate or severe with effective moisturizers and sunscreens.

Hormonal treatment

Treatment with Diane 35 maintains a favorable benefit / risk ratio for acne after some antibiotics and local treatment fail. This treatment is prescribed when there are signs of hirsutism and hyperandrogenism that affect acne and persists after some previous treatments. Also, we do not use it with oral contraceptives.

The composition of Diane 35 does not have any special indication when exposed to sunlight.

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